September 12, 2016.  What are the odds a native redbud tree would follow its most prolific blooming spree three months later with sudden death?  The blooms had been replaced with lush green leaves when we left on summer travels.  Six weeks later, return was saddened by the lifeless brown of those leaves and the crisp snap of limbs tested.   Research suggested possibilities, but the suddenness really confuses!

Saturday we got out the chainsaw and did what had to be done.  Depressing.  One bit of beauty remained – rings in the sliced trunk.  Out came the camera and my gears began turning on a collage to commemorate the tree.  Shots of the rings, of the stump, of St. Francis standing alone (no more posing beneath the redbud).